You’ve got your chapstick for chapped lips and lotion for cracked hands; but what can you do to combat the cold, dry winter air when you’re a CPAP user? From helpful gear to household tips, we’ve got everything you need to prevent dry noses, irritated skin, congestion, and more icky winter ailments.
Keep reading for our best winter tips for CPAP users.
1. Get Thee a Humidifier!
One of the biggest reasons Sleep Apnea can get worse in the winter months is that by breathing cold air into our mouths and noses, we are drying out our airways, nasal passages, and lungs. This can not only weaken your airways, but lead to irritation and congestion.
The good news is that one of the simplest ways to ensure your airways are retaining proper moisture levels is to invest in a Humidifier for your CPAP machine.
2. Keep Your Tubing Toasty
Now, we obviously don’t want you to stick your CPAP tubing in the toaster, but there are a couple ways you can ensure that all that life-saving air takes a nice, warm journey from your CPAP machine to your airways.
- Upgrade to Heated Tubing. Available for the ResMed10 series of devices, the ResMed S9, as well as the DreamStation 2 (although, be sure to read our latest update on the Philips Respironics Dreamstation Recall HERE), heated tubing could be the one solution you need to prevent a dry nose this winter.
- Get a Tube Cover. For all you crafters out there, Susan has a free crochet pattern online to make your own. We also found some fun (already made) fleece ones on Etsy. Shop around and find one that suits your style or matches your throw pillows. Get creative!
3. Try Warming Up the Bedroom
We won’t stop you from getting creative here either (wink wink), but we do mean this in the simplest of terms: crank the heat if you can stand it. While keeping a cooler bedroom has been shown to help us sleep, if you’re struggling with the dry air you’re breathing, you could be suffering even more.
Try to keep your room as warm as possible in the winter, and even try tucking your tubing under your comforter for maximum comfort!
4. Clean, Clean, Clean!
We’ve talked about what happens when you don’t clean your CPAP Supplies regularly. Twice. And not because we’re anal retentives germophobes, but because it really, really, really, is important. Unclean CPAP Supplies can lead to respiratory issues, frequent illness, pneumonia, and worse.
We’ve got a great guide on how to clean your Humidifier/Water Tank and we also carry CPAP Sanitizers that take all of the guesswork (and work-work) out of cleaning your CPAP Supplies. Don’t forget the wipes!
5. Minimize Facial Skin Irritation
Ah, there’s nothing like a gray, dreary winter’s day—gutters full of brown snow sludge, dead trees and grass—to remind us that it literally actually feels like our face might crack off. If you know the feeling, we sympathize. But thankfully there are a few things you can do to feel a little bit less like your skin is made of papier-mâché.
- Switch from a full-face CPAP mask to a nasal mask or nasal pillows mask to minimize skin contact. This will help cut down on the mask rubbing your sensitive face skin while you sleep.
- Loosen your straps. You don’t want your mask to be too loose, but in the winter months you may find you awake with less irritation with slightly looser straps.
- Moisturize before bed. Adding some extra hydration to your bedtime routine can help prevent facial skin irritation from your CPAP mask in the first place. We recommend something oil- and fragrance-free to minimize build-up and keep your cleaning routine easier.
If you try any of our favorite winter tips for CPAP users, be sure to let us know on Facebook or Instagram! We love hearing from the Sleep Apnea community, so let us know if there’s anything you want to know or learn more about.
You can also always contact us by calling us at: (866) 716-0663, emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or just use our Live Chat feature!